Peat bog restoration thanks to Transition group

Peat bog restoration thanks to Transition group
Pippa Jones
5 March 2024
3 minute read

Transition Wilmslow has championed the restoration of Lindow Moss, part of an ancient Cheshire wetland,  for more than a decade. For centuries, people have been cutting peat here for fuel, but more recently mechanised cutting has caused immense damage, digging deep into the peat layer.

Restoration seemed beyond us until the owners sold off a small part of the site for housing and in return agreed to restore the landscape back to lowland bog. This restoration has at last started, although progress is slow; the bog is becoming wetter as less water drains from it and sphagnums and cotton grass are returning.

Our role as a Transition group has been to build community engagement and involvement over the years. It was hard to look at a scarred landscape and imagine that it was once, and could be again, a stunningly beautiful wetland absorbing carbon and water, and thriving with wildlife and bog plants.

Transition Wilmslow started organising events, walks, talks and workshops to engage the community with the Moss landscape.

Led by one of our Transitioners, Professor John Handley, an academic ecologist, we organised guided walks for people of all ages, talks, plant hunts, workshops and study days. 

Our Neighbourhood Plan recognised Lindow Moss as a place of ecological and cultural importance, and proposed the formation of a Lindow Moss Partnership of local authorities, charities, community organisations and landowners to restore, conserve and interpret the wider Lindow Moss landscape for the benefit of nature, the climate and people.

Transition Wilmslow volunteers are wrapped up warm to plant trees around the edge of the bogland.
Transition Wilmslow volunteers plant trees on the edge of the bog.

This Partnership launched in January 2024 and is supported by Groundwork CLM who have been awarded a £250,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to support the work of the partnership. Transition Wilmslow is a key part of the partnership and has recently set up  the Friends of Lindow Moss.

This year we are celebrating the 40th anniversary of the discovery of Lindow Man,  Britain’s most important bog body. We have activities from May to December including an exhibition of photos and artefacts, a Lindow Moss Heritage Walk that we have developed, launching on 9 June,  a Dawn Walk to visit the Find Spot of Lindow Man as the sun rises on the anniversary of his discovery, a bioblitz and a poetry and prose walk.

There will also be an art installation of art works made by over 700 primary children which they will bring to the Moss to install. Ecologist and artist Phil Barton and others will be installing their own art on the Moss. In the autumn we have organised a 12 week course of lectures from academic experts from across the UK.

It’s been very heartening to see so many people come forward with ideas for other activities, for example, a family iron age wood working course, a carnyx (iron age horn) performance and a harp and prose concert.  We hope that by the end of this Discover Lindow Season many more people including children will understand the importance of peat bogs for climate change and biodiversity, and appreciate the people who have lived over millennia in this special landscape.

More information about Lindow Moss and the Discover Lindow 2024 season is at

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